25 June 2019
Lamine Diack (in picture), the former President of athletics’ governing body the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) and his son Papa Massata Diack are being charged in France on corruption and money-laundering charges, Press Association Sport reported.
Investigations started in in 2015 after IAAF’s ethics commission and the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) uncovered evidence a Russian marathon runner paid $683,220 to cover up a positive drug test. This allowed her to compete in the London 2012 Olympic Games.
Papa Massata Diack runs a sports consulting business called Black Tidings. He solicited bribes from athletes, 3.45 million euros in exchange for covering up positive doping tests and allowing athletes to go on competing.
Diack was the president of IAAF from 1999 to 2015. He was also a member of the International Olympic Committee (IOC). He ran IAFF in autocratic fashion and was initially praised for his leadership by Sebastian Coe, a British politician and former track and field athlete. Coe won four Olympic medals, including the 1500 metres gold medal at the Olympic Games in 1980 and 1984.
Diack was long jump champion at the 1958 French Athletics Championships and held the French/West African record from 1957 to 1960.
On 1 November 2015, Diack was arrested along with several other top IAAF officials. He has been under house arrest in France since November 2015.
The corruption scandal also involved Russian athletics chief and IAAF treasurer Valentin Balakhnichev, Russia’s ex-national middle-distance coach Alexei Melnikov, Diack’s former aide Habib Cisse and the IAAF’s ex-anti-doping boss Gabriel Dolle. These four will also face trial on the same charges.
Diack’s son Papa Massata Diack fled to his native Senegal and the West African country has rejected several extradition requests.
It is alleged that Diack, a former mayor of Senegal’s capital Dakar, used these payments to fund political campaigns in his homeland, as well as a lavish lifestyle in Monaco, where the IAAF is based.
Reuters reported.
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